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How To Make your Waterfront Property Accessible

by Lucy Hudson

The total value of waterfront homes was $134 billion in June 2018, according to an article in Forbes. The same article indicates that due to changing climate conditions, changing tastes, and bounce back of non-waterfront homes, the overall average sales price of homes has gone down. However, waterfront homes are still the epitome of luxury and an enjoyable holiday retreat for people on vacation. So focus should be on making your waterfront home climate change proof and accessible so that it can be more comfortable for both you and potential tenants.

IoT technology for convenience

The easiest way to explain the Internet of Things (IoT) is that it involves smart devices communicating with each other in a network. Smart home devices come in the form of appliances, electronics, and speakers, which enhance independent living — especially for people with mobility problems and disabled people. For example, there are smart coffee makers that automatically start making coffee every morning, and window blinds that open and close themselves. There are also thermostats that adjust themselves automatically and learn your routines, and lights that go on and off without you touching a light switch. You can take control of these devices with an app on your phone, or simply use voice control to turn them on and off.  Personal assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home allow you to control various devices using voice control.

An entryway that is friendly to everyone

Placing a mat that says “welcome” at your front door will do nothing to help people with mobility problems get to your door or through it any easier. If a person using a wheelchair cannot access your home via the stairs, then ramps are a great solution. A modular ramp is great for all types of stairs and entrances. These ramps are usually made of high-grade aluminum, are semi-permanent, durable, and easy to maintain. However, if you want to make a ramp one of the primary features of your home, you can opt for a permanent wooden ramp. A permanent ramp is a better option for beachfront elevated homes. The ramps make it easier to get to the door but the entryway should have door frames that are at least 32 inches wide. If not, use offset hinges on the door to allow it to open wide enough to fit a wheelchair.

Don’t forget the bathroom

Accessible features that you can add to your bathroom include showers with rolling seats for people who cannot stand, and grab bars for balance. The shower should also be well lit and have a hand-held shower head with a 60-inch hose. To reduce the risk of slipping in the shower, install a non-slip floor and a walk-in tub. The soap, lotions and other stuff you use in the bathroom should be placed in an area that is easy to reach. In addition, install a riser on a toilet to make it easy for people to use who have trouble bending.

There are many other things that you can install or add into a waterfront home to make it accessible. However, it’s best to start by adding features that make movement in your waterfront home easy for people who are disabled or have mobility problems as they are the most in need of improvements.

An Office Desk With A Calming Water View

by Lucy Hudson

Stress is a significant problem in the modern workplace, and mounting evidence points towards thoughtful office design as the key to keeping workers relaxed, while enhancing productivity. The WELL building standard is created from the concept that the work environment itself can contribute towards stress, but by building an office with plenty of natural light, adequate air flow, green plants, and a pleasant view, this can enhance the mental health of employees. For those lucky enough to live on the waterfront, setting up a stress-free home office in such a peaceful location requires just a little effort.

A Dedicated Office

Separating work from home life can be a challenge, whether you live alone or with pets and kids seeking your attention. A stress-free remote work environment should allow you to take advantage of the benefits of flexible working, without succumbing to any overlaps with your personal life. Begin by setting aside a dedicated room in your home, preferably with that relaxing water view, which can be used solely for work. If you try “hotdesking” from your kitchen table to your living room couch, then you’re bound to run into difficulties.

Choosing Ergonomic Furniture

With this in mind, it’s important to invest in furniture for your home office that provides the best support for your posture as you work. As workers often sit for 8 hours of the day at their desk, the possibility of adopting a hunched position is high. Take care to put your health first and choose a desk and chair arrangement, such as a standing desk that reduces the physical stress on your spine and frame.

Securing Your Home Network

Few things cause as much anxiety in the workplace as the idea of a cyber attack. When you’re setting up your homework environment, you may not have access to an IT department in the same way that dedicated office workers do. Along with keeping your anti-virus up-to-date and following best practices for changing your passwords, take steps to secure your home network by installing a virtual private network connection to reduce the threat of potential vulnerabilities. You should also review your back-up strategy, whether to the cloud or to an external storage device to ensure that your sensitive data is kept 100% secure.

Establishing Boundaries

Make your family members aware of your working hours so that they understand the boundaries and know when you shouldn’t be disturbed. Equally, to prevent clients and other contacts from getting in touch outside of your regular work hours, you may consider using a separate cell phone for business purposes or even installing a business line.

Take Regular Breaks

Regular breaks are essential in relieving stress in any role, but some types of downtime are more effective than others. For example, snacking on unhealthy foods or using the time to vent about a work-related problem can contribute towards further fatigue. Conversely, an effective strategy is to carry out an activity that allows you to mentally disengage from your work-related tasks. As a homeowner with waterfront property, you have the perfect setting to help you enjoy a positive psychological break during the working day. You could choose to meditate, or simply take a walk outside to catch the breeze.

Your water view property is the perfect place to set up a home office. Put some planning into the initial set-up and all that’s left to do is to start working at your own leisure and connecting with nature during those relaxing breaks.

Create The Ultimate Relaxing Coffee Setup

by Lucy Hudson

Poets, painters, and writers have long celebrated the calming effects of being near the water, but recent science backs up the idea that water has a soothing effect on our psyches. Indeed, coastal living has been shown to improve our sense of physical and emotional health: it simply helps us relax. Now imagine yourself embracing relaxation with a warm mug of coffee in hand, gazing out across the rippling lagoon, or the crashing waves, and feeling utterly at peace. Once you’ve purchased and fixed up your dream waterfront home, next you’ll want the perfect coffee setup to become the embodiment of your zen-self.

Find The Coffee Variety To Match Your Personality

Do you like to start your day with a bold brew to wake up your senses? Try a dark or French roast coffee that tends to have a richer aroma and full-bodied flavor. But if it’s a pure caffeine boost you seek, lighter roasts can often pack more of a punch, as less of the mass of the coffee bean has been roasted away. The main difference between light and dark roast beans, however, is in the flavor, and a lighter roast tends to taste more acidic yet more fruity and nuanced. Of course, you might also prefer your coffee to taste more like dessert, in which case, flavored varieties like hazelnut or vanilla might suit you and pair well with a dose of sugar and cream. There’s also a wide array of decaffeinated coffees for any flavor profile.

 Make Coffee A Conversation Piece

Today most grocery stores sell a variety of coffee beans all with interesting sourcing stories – locally brewed; fair trade organic; artisan. Try exploring coffees from different regions and roasted by different producers to see what you like. It can be a joy to relax on your porch overlooking the water, sipping coffee from a far-flung region and comparing tasting notes with a companion. There are also many coffee subscription clubs you can now join to sample different beans every month.

Choose Your Brewing Method Wisely

There are quite a few ways to brew a relaxing cup of joe, so choose the method and the gear that suits your lifestyle. If you want a quick, single cup, you might opt for a single-serve brewer that takes pods or cups. It’s by far the easiest way to get your coffee fix, but the downsides are that the brew tends to be weaker, and there is considerable packaging waste involved. Another great option for the single-serve solution is a pour-over cone. This simple method relies on the slow drip of the coffee through a cone you place over the cup, but the trick is you cannot rush it. To get a rich brew, you must pour the hot water gradually through the coffee grounds. If you’re making coffee for two or more people, a French press is fairly simple and makes for a more full-bodied cup. Meanwhile, a traditional drip coffee maker makes a less bold coffee, but is pretty foolproof to operate, and has the important benefit of keeping the coffee warm until you’re ready to serve it up. Once you’ve selected the ideal gear for your coffee station, make sure you know the appropriate grind size for your coffee apparatus. It can make all the difference in your coffee being thick, ick, or just right.

 Claim Your Coffee Zone

Now that you have the best beans, the brewing gear, and an aromatic cup of joe in your hands, it’s time to retreat to your water view spot to enjoy a moment of zen. Designate a spot on your deck, or a seat near the window, with comfy, reclined seats for two and a side table for coffee cups and crossword puzzles. Sit back, sip…and enjoy!

How to Control and Prevent Humidity and Mold in Waterfront Homes

by Lucy Hudson

Every home requires maintenance, and homes in warm, humid climates are no different, especially when it comes to mold. While studies don’t show that mold is more prevalent in waterfront homes than normal ones, studies do reveal that in any given home across the United States there could be one of thirty different types of mold present. Since fixing mold damage is a time and money-consuming project, it’s best to take preventative action before it gets out of hand. The great news is, however, is that it’s pretty easy to prevent as long as you’re mindful about it and put in a little effort.

Clean Regularly to Get Rid of Pollutants

While you probably clean your waterfront home regularly, if you aren’t doing it in the right way, you’ll miss a lot of the small, microscopic toxins that are floating or lying around. Mold is one of the most prevalent and dangerous of these toxins and can cause nasal and sinus congestion, a chronic cough, and even eye irritation. When scrubbing your walls, especially in damp areas like the laundry room or basement, you’ll want to use a non-ammonia cleaner or dishwashing soap and water to remove mold and other small spores that can cause respiratory problems. Using a HEPA vacuum cleaner or air cleaner is a good idea after washing any area of your home in order to remove any leftover mold spores floating around in the air.

Check Humidity Levels

Becaise most waterfront properties are situated in areas that are likely to be more hot and humid, you’ll probably already have a high-quality HVAC system you to cool your home. This is great, as cool air holds less moisture than warm air, and with the right A/C unit you can ensure your waterfront property is receiving dehumidified air. Industry professionals refer to this as exfiltration, and certain HVAC systems will provide you with better exfiltration abilities than others, as well as the ability to monitor the humidity levels in your home. If you live in a particularly humid waterfront area, it’s a good idea to invest in a smart humidity monitor that will alert you if the place gets too humid. Normally, these levels should be between 35% and 50%, but in really humid climates you might have to live with levels up to 55%.

Monitor Your Home Regularly

Preventing mold in a humid climate is something that you might always have to deal with, but it’s so easy to do that the myriad benefits of a waterfront property greatly outweigh that one small task. By properly cleaning your home regularly to avoid the buildup of dust and other pollutants, you can ensure that you’re not providing mold with an environment to thrive in. Investing in a humidity monitor and the right HVAC system will then help keep your property at the perfect temperature and humidity level to enjoy all of the stunning waterfront sunsets comfortably inside of your home.

Make Your Waterfront Home Perfect for Your Pooch

by Lucy Hudson

There are very few dwellings that can compete with the sheer splendor of a waterfront home. If you own one of the nearly 69 million pet dogs in the USA, a house near the water can be especially appealing as many dogs innately love playing in the water, according to the American Kennel Club.  Even if your dog is not exactly keen on swimming, he or she can benefit from having a large, natural area in which to play. With the enormous joys of living in a beautiful waterfront home comes the responsibility, however, to make it as dog-friendly as possible. Luckily this can be easily achieved by combining a good dose of dog-owner common sense with a few handy additional tips.

Fresh drinking water is a must

Dogs, like humans, are very much dependent on fresh drinking water for their survival. When living near a large body of water many pet owners make the incorrect assumption that their dog can simply drink water from the stream, lake, or ocean when he is thirsty. Although a dog will inadvertently swallow some water while frolicking in the ocean, it is important to remember that salt water can be very dangerous to canines when consumed in large quantities. Always ensure your dog has plenty of fresh drinking water at his disposal, both inside and outside of your house, and take along a bottle of water and a suitable water bowl when planning to spend extended periods of time away from home.

Have a basic first-aid kit on hand

Living in a waterfront home is a true blessing. There are, however, also a number of hazardous situations that can present themselves to a dog owner, making it essential to be able to treat basic illnesses and injuries in an effective and timely manner. A trip down to the beach is a great adventure for just about any dog who loves to dig in the sand and rush into the water. While waterfront homeowners generally have great respect for the environment, not everyone shares the same sentiment. This sometimes results in the area being littered with a range of harmful objects such as broken glass and fishing hooks that can injure an unsuspecting dog. Or, if you live near the ocean, your dog could possibly incur a painful jellyfish sting which will undoubtedly require some medical attention.

Tiles are better than carpets

The flooring inside your home is a very important consideration if you are a pet owner.   If there is one lesson that living in a waterfront home will teach you, it is that a wet dog and carpeted floors are definitely not a match made in heaven.  As much as you undertake to keep your pooch out of your house when wet or dirty, any dog owner can vouch for that it is a lot easier said than done. A tiled floor is, generally speaking, a much better choice for a waterfront home as it is not just dogs that trample in sand and enjoy spending time in the water. It is important to remember that, although tiled floors are definitely a lot more practical, they can be slippery when walked on with wet feet.  Invest in absorbent mats to put outside your doors and keep a couple of towels nearby to dry both yourself and your dog off before entering the home.

Our canine companions are as deserving of safe, comfortable living spaces as we are. When the necessary precaution is taken to make your home as dog-friendly as possible, your entire family, including your beloved pooches can thoroughly enjoy living in a gorgeous waterfront home.

The Ultimate Housewarming Party For Your Waterfront Home

by Lucy Hudson

A housewarming party is a perfect way to celebrate your new house with family and friends. It is also the perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors and make new friends in the area. Your waterfront home is something to be really proud of and having a party will show your space at its best. Here are some great ways to make sure that your housewarming is one to be remembered.

Install beautiful lighting

When you have a home on the waterfront, you are surrounded by beautiful reflections. You can use this to your advantage when you’re throwing a housewarming, and create a truly atmospheric backdrop with lighting. If your party is in the evening, fill your home with soft sheen lamps or candles in tea light holders. This is even more effective if you have decking in front of your home leading to the water. Your lighting will be reflected in the surface of the water, giving a feeling of even more space. Another way to make your home feel bigger and to focus on the water is to decorate your home with mirrors. It will give your housewarming a modern feel and fill your living area with reflections and subtle illumination.

Serve delicious local cuisine

One of the most wonderful things about living near the water is the availability of seasonal, local food. You can delight your friends by serving them a variety of fish or seafood. Provide your guests with delicate canape style dishes that they can eat while socializing. For instance, marinated shrimp or delicate white fish on skewers will look dainty and taste divine. If your housewarming is a casual party, having a barbecue is a great way to show off the local cuisine and guests can even help with the cooking.

Take the party outside

On a warm summer evening, take your housewarming party outside to look out over the water. Invest in some extra deck chairs, or canvas director’s chairs, that you can get out when you have friends and family over. Put a bar outside so you can serve drinks to your friends, or fill some ice boxes with beers for a more casual party. It’s a good idea to put some citronella candles outside to keep away the insects. They will also fill the air with a wonderful scent. If you are planning an outdoor party, make sure you start an early evening, so that your guests can see the glory of the sun setting over the water.

Enhance the atmosphere with music

Playing some good music is a guaranteed way to give your housewarming party a great atmosphere. Make a housewarming playlist on your streaming service for your party. For a more laid back affair, try some jazz or chillout music. If you are having a wild and lively party, hip hop, Motown, and chart hits will get everyone dancing. Try to include something on your playlist for each age group you have coming to your party. 

A housewarming party is a perfect way to celebrate your beautiful new waterfront house. You will enjoy a beautiful evening and possibly make new friends in your area.

The Bird-Friendly Waterfront Home

by Lucy Hudson

Designing a Bird-Friendly Waterfront Home

Waterfront homes are worth $134 billion nationally as of June 2018 with transactions for these types of properties ranging between 0.4-06% of all real estate dealings. Living close to a body of water such as a lake, ocean or river commands a premium price with great views, access to the water and even gorgeous wildlife such as birds. Unfortunately, bird deaths are also substantial due to collisions and crashes. Thus,

Discourage Birds from Flying into Windows

There are about 300 species of birds that live on or near the sea including puffers, albatrosses, tropic birds and pelicans. Alas, collision with glass is not uncommon and each year, bird mortality is estimated to be between 365 million to 988 million. The reflection of the water on the windows make birds believe that it is an extension of the waterway, sea or sky.

Although new glass technology is available such as UV, patterned, translucent or opaque glass, not everyone can afford expensive window renovations to their waterfront property. Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize bird crashes and ensure that birds are safe. Putting decals on windows and applying window films warn birds not to fly into windows. Chimes around your glass windows also alert them of possible dangers. Drawing curtains partially during the day also helps, as well as installing internal shades and blinds. At night, avoiding lights near windows that attract birds reduces collisions and crashes. It also prevents dangerous conditions for night-migrating birds that may be drawn to the light and unable to break away.

Making Your Home Inviting and Safe

Keeping your waterfront home bird-friendly is an important consideration if there are substantial bird populations in your vicinity. At the same time, you’ll want to entice birds on your property and welcome them. Putting a birdbath in your garden, providing food and nesting shelter are great options to encourage them to stay for a while or make frequent visits. Flowers, shrubs and other plants that are endemic to the area are familiar to the local bird population. They will likely stop by for food and shelter when they see native landscapes.

In turn, birds control insect and rodent infestation and reduce the transmission of diseases, and regenerate habitats. For property owners, they get to bird-watch right in their own backyards.

Waterfront homes are simply divine. They allow access to the water, offer great views and other water-based recreational facilities. Wildlife is also fantastic with the presence of birds providing pleasure to humans. Keeping them safe by bird-proofing windows ensure that collisions and crashes are reduced.

Best Waterfront Locations for Dog Owners and How to Enjoy Them 

Dogs love the ocean

What dog owners need to consider about waterfront homes

by Lucy Hudson

In 2017, a total of about 89.7 million dogs lived in households in the United States as pets. While not all of these dogs and their owners lived in beachfront properties, we’re sure that there are many homeowners who take this into account before settling on the idea of a property near the ocean. If you’re a dog mom or dad, you’ll definitely want to factor in a few things before moving into a waterfront home, such as whether or not the nearby beach is dog-friendly, what the weather is like, whether or not your dog is prepared to live near water and how to ensure they’ll enjoy your new home just as much as you will.

Best Dog-Friendly Waterfront Locations in the U.S.

Ideal waterfront locations for dog owners will need to check a few boxes. In general, they should be cities or small towns where there are a lot of open, natural spaces for dogs to enjoy. They should also be places where parks, restaurants and other establishments openly welcome pets. And, finally, the waterfront areas should be dog-friendly and easily accessible with your furry friend. Taking all of those things into consideration, some of the waterfront cities you’ll most definitely want to take a look at are San Diego, Nantucket, Key West and most of the Georgia coastline. These places are all known not only for their beautiful and fun outdoor experiences but for their pet-friendly environments and places to visit that include numerous dog-friendly beaches and fairly-priced waterfront properties.

 How to Enjoy Beachfront-Living With Your Dog

To get the best out of waterfront-living life with your precious pooch, consider treating them to all-natural toys and food that will ensure they’ve always got something special to play with while you enjoy the waves and serene views. It’s worth taking a look at signing up for a subscription box specifically designed for your dog and browsing through something like pooch perks reviews will reveal just how much dogs and their owners love subscription boxes like these. Your dog will love receiving a new box full of surprises each month and it’s a great way to ensure you and your pup are encouraged to get outside and try out the new toys instead of taking the waterfront views and nearby waves for granted.

Getting the Most Out of Waterfront Living 

There aren’t many drawbacks to living in a waterfront property. With tranquil views, the sound of water and natural spaces to relax you, investing in a waterfront home is a great option even if you have a dog you want to bring along with you. Ensuring that you’re looking for a home that is in a dog-friendly area will be your first order of business, and then you can begin to assess the preparedness of your dog in order to ensure they’ll be safe around water. Once you’ve got that all figured out, treat them to a monthly treat box to entice them out to play near the water and they’ll fall in love with the place probably quicker than you will.

Fix-Up Your Waterfront Home Before You Move In

by Lucy Hudson

If you have invested in a waterfront home or a water view home — or are planning to do so in the near future, there are some essential areas that you need to confirm are in order, and possibly fix-up,

Lake view at dusk

before moving in. The excitement of getting to finally live that dream should not deter you from ensuring that your new property meets all your expectations. The government, in fact, offers various options that could help you bring down the costs of any repairs and renovations, which you should take advantage of if you qualify. If and when you have that settled, look out for these three critical areas before you occupy your new home.

Flood protection and mitigation

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest potential hazards of living near the water is flooding. Flooding is one of the most common but also devastating disasters in the United States. The first steps you should take should be towards prevention and mitigation. Critically, electrical systems, as well as other outdoor units such as tanks and generators, should be well anchored and elevated. This is important in preventing fires and other kinds of damage.

You should also consider whether your homeowner insurance has adequate coverage for potential damages from flooding. Another mitigative measure involves ensuring that your your house number and street name are clearly illuminated. This helps emergency services in case they need to find the location of your house quickly. Just a few seconds of delay could make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome.

Fixing the guttering

Living near a water body means that it’s more likely to rain often, which automatically makes the guttering system crucial in your new home. The gutters and downspouts are important as a channel to collect and store water, but they also help to prevent damage on your walls, decks, porches, and ceiling. If dilapidated and non-functional, the best solution is to remove and replace the whole system. This might of course be quite expensive, but it is worth the value in the long run.

If the system is in good shape though, it is important to ensure that it is clean before you move in. Clear out all the dirt and then install guards to prevent dirt from accumulating again. This is useful in keeping out debris, while still allowing water to flow into the system.

Water and the dock

In most instances, the whole point of owning a waterfront or water view home is to have a good view of and access to the water. If these two things are not in order, you will definitely not be able to make the most of your new home. To gain better sight of the water, you might have to trim or clear obstructing bushes and trees.

And, if you bought the property with the idea to either go swimming, boating or fishing, accessibility to the water is obviously absolutely important. You need to, therefore, ensure that you have a clear route to the water and a strong and functional dock.

Safety, comfort and convenience are some of the most key aspects to be considered before buying or moving in into any new property. Once you can rest easy on these, you are ready to fully enjoy your new home.

waterfront home decoration

Make Your New Waterfront Home Sparkle

The news is out: waterfront property isn’t as expensive as it used to be, according to a market analysis by Forbes. That means now may be the time to start looking and thinking about making that big purchase. And once you’ve completed the exciting task of finding and purchasing a waterfront home, there’s another difficult process: decorating. The commanding views and dynamic lighting of a waterfront property can make interior design even more intimidating and demanding than with a landlocked home. There are, however, many well used methods for setting up your new dwelling in a way that harmonizes the beauty of both the interior and exterior – a good idea for anyone interested in living well.

Living/Dining Room

The centerpiece of a beach house will of course always be the water itself, so care should be taken so that each room complements and responds to the view. Nowhere is this more important than in the living/dining room; the rooms that you and your guests will undoubtedly spend the most time. One of the most important design concerns is how light will play out in the room. Think about where and when the light will be best in the house, and how it will move over time. Can you place the dining room table in a space where you won’t be blinded every dinner? Can you set up a nice space for cocktails where the view can be appreciated in the early evening? Use the windows as centerpieces and design out from there. Mirrors can help make spaces feel bigger, brighter, and more open, without distracting from windows. Try to space furniture so that eyes of guests are drawn naturally to the view.

Bedrooms

Both personal and guest bedrooms provide a space to be a little bit more playful with decor, and to develop a theme for the home (just don’t go overboard). Bedrooms can be arranged around windows, but since they are smaller less care needs to be taken when placing furniture. It’s better to focus on picking colors and small objects that complement and highlight the exterior view than to distract with large decorative pieces. Try to treat each bedroom as a subtle response to it’s exterior. A guest bedroom (or street facing living room away from the water) can be a great place for a nice entertainment center incorporating a large screen and state-of-the-art speaker system. Or if you want to have a few spaces that are quirky, guest bedrooms are a natural place for this too.

Kitchen

The kitchen is perfect for working on thematic decor, as well as developing more interior focused design. Because there aren’t usually large furniture pieces in a kitchen, small decorative decisions can have an outsize impact here. The kitchen is also a good space to make unique; a room that says a little about the homeowners. It’s important to keep in mind both functional and aesthetic goals here, as this will be one of the rooms that gets the most use.

Tying it all together

Once you’ve got a theme picked and the furniture arranged just so comes the most exciting part: enjoying the view and fine tuning the details. After the big decisions have been made, setting up a home can be a much less involved, and more fun process of small tweaks and trial periods. All it takes is a bit of work, trial and error, and conscious decision making to find yourself comfortable and relaxed in a new waterfront home.

by Lucy Hudson